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Jess Walker talks about being a Modern Apprentice in Scottish Water


Modern Apprentice Programmes

A transcript of the video can be found here.


Our structured Modern Apprentice (MA) programmes will provide you with the opportunity to gain the necessary skills, qualifications and experience to become a key player in building our operational capabilities for the future - and our friendly team will support you all the way through!


Start a solid and rewarding specialist career at Scottish Water in the discipline of your choice:

Fixed Based Programmes (in the one lcation)
Fluid Based Programmes (one location 2-3 days per week)
Field based Programmes (working on site at a water or waste water treatment works)

Fixed Based Programmes

The following Apprenticeships are based at a fixed workplace; so you will only travel beyond this location occasionally to attend training and monthly or quarterly team meetings.

Business Administration (BA)

Overview: BA Apprentices contribute to drive outstanding customer service and outperform key regulatory targets by providing effective administrative support. Within this office-based agile position you will undertake a variety of administrative tasks of diverse responsibilities according to the allocated work department’s needs.

Structure: You will work towards achieving the SVQ Level 3 in BA and this learning is planned around your workload. So you can choose whether or not to attend to college or complete the modules at the workplace. The apprenticeship is divided into 3 stages of 6 months which will furnish you with the knowledge and competence required to complete the scheme with success.

Customer Service Contact Centre (CS)

Overview: CS Apprentices work in a number of Scottish Water’s customer facing teams such as Customer Contact Centre or Customer Connections.

As a CS Apprentice in Customer Connections, you will provide administrative and technical support related to the delivery of new water and waste water infrastructure for our customers; e.g., new connection pipework for a housing development. Within this office-based role you will process all applications for new connections; ensuring that these are completed on time and that customers are updated about their progress.

Structure: The CS framework has a flexible approach as it couples your workload with your studies. You will be working towards achieving the SVQ Level 3 in CS and the National Progression Award Level 2 in the Water Industry. The 2-year scheme is divided into 4 stages of 6 months which will provide you with a strong foundation for a bright career at Scottish Water.

Scientific Services

Overview: Scientific Apprentices help to ensure that we supply wholesome drinking water and treat waste water effectively to meet the requirements of drinking water supply regulations and strict environmental standards. If you enjoy science, this apprenticeship presents a fantastic opportunity for you to start your career path as you will learn about all aspects of a modern analytical laboratory service in the water industry.

Structure: Our Scientific Apprenticeship is an internal 4-year scheme where the learning objectives are carefully selected by Scottish Water to support our strict UKAS Accredited laboratory standards. You will be trained, coached and assessed to operate at our state of the art laboratories; sampling water for subsequent chemical and microbiological testing.

Fluid Based Programme

This Apprenticeship involves a fluid agile working environment; where you will tend to work at the same office or depot regularly for approximately 2 or 3 days per week.

Asset Management (AM)

Overview: AM Apprentices contribute towards our work in monitoring the condition and performance of our assets, to understand trends and forecast when we will have to maintain, renovate, renew and ultimately dispose our assets. These can include Scottish Water’s reservoirs, treatment works, pumping stations and networks. This helps us to achieve compliance with regulatory standards and to meet our levels of service promised to customers. So through this scheme, you will learn the art of balancing the performance, costs and risks of the assets over time.

Structure: Our AM Apprenticeship combines structured experience, on-the-job training, specific job related short training courses and academic teaching. Within your first 2 years you will be working towards achieving the National Progression Award Level 2 in the Water Industry; and during year 3 and 4, you will continue part-time study towards obtaining the Higher National Certificate in Water Operations with Management.

Field Based Programme

Within the next Apprenticeships you normally start work from on site. You will typically work in the field or you will be based at our water or waste water works.

Customer Service Network Service Operator (NSO)

Overview: Customer Service NSOs are vital to deliver and maintain our high level of customer service. As a NSO, you will visit customers at home to investigate and resolve water and sewerage related issues. Moreover, you will provide extensive support within the water and waste water network operational areas by contributing to the repair and maintenance of our water and sewerage infrastructure and supplies.

Structure: Our Customer Service NSO Apprentices follow a 4-year training plan that couples on-the-job training with academic learning. Within your first 2 years you will be working towards achieving the National Progression Award Level 2 in the Water Industry; and during year 3 and 4, you will continue part-time study towards obtaining the Higher National Certificate in Water Operations with Management. Throughout this apprenticeship, you will also gain the relevant skills and experience to complete the SVQ Level 3 in Customer Service.

Engineering - Electrical and Mechanical

Overview: Our Engineering framework focuses on the skills and behaviours required to provide technical support to operations and contribute to the delivery of an effective, proactive and customer driven service to water and waste water treatment plans and pumping stations. Your role will involve providing field based multi-skilled electrical and mechanical service to ensure the safe and effective operations of all our plants and equipment. Engineer Apprentices can follow either Craft or Technician occupational routes.

Structure: The 4-year Engineering programme starts in September and combines on-the-job with academic training. After a full first year at college, you will start working at Scottish Water and continue to study part-time. Craft and Technician apprentices will work towards obtaining a National Certificate and a Higher National Certificate respectively. No matter the pathway you choose, you will also be equipped with the necessary skill set and experience to get qualified in the SVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations and further achieve the SVQ Level 3 in Engineering Maintenance (Engineered Systems).

Repair and Maintenance Operator (R&M)

Overview: Our R&M Apprentices are essential in achieving the highest operational standards in Scottish Water’s utilities network. The scheme covers all areas related with creating and maintaining a safe, efficient and effective work environment in the water or waste water network. You will also learn to restore water or waste water network components to operational condition via repair. There are 2 pathways you could choose from: Water Network or Sewer Network.

Structure: Water and Sewer Network R&M Apprenticeships run for 4 years and couple on-the-job training with academic learning.

Within your first 2 years you will be working towards achieving the National Progression Award Level 2 in the Water Industry; and by year 4, you will need to obtain the Higher National Certificate in Water Operations with Management.  If you follow the Water Network pathway, you will also be fully-trained to pass the SVQ Level 2 in Network Construction Operations (Water) R&M. If you opt for the Sewer Network pathway you will be trained to the Sewerage Maintenance National Occupational Standards.

Water Industry

Overview: Water Industry Apprentices are core in supporting Scottish Water’s commitment to provide high quality affordable water and take away waste water to treat and return safely to the environment of Scotland.

The Water Industry covers all the aspects of water transportation and distribution networks along with the operations, specific technologies and processes involved in managing water quality and drinking and waste water treatment processes. Therefore, you will specialise in one of these specific disciplines: Leakage, Water Treatment or Waste Water Treatment.

Structure: The Water Industry frameworks run for 4 years and combine on-the-job training with academic teaching. Within your first 2 years you will be working towards achieving the National Progression Award Level 2 in the Water Industry; and during year 3 and 4, you will continue part-time study towards obtaining the Higher National Certificate in Water Operations with Management. From the very beginning, you will be also trained to get the SVQ Level 3 in one of these fields: Controlling Process Operations (water or waste water), Leakage Control or Water Industry Operations.


  1. Tailored learning and development plan
  2. 37 days of holiday per year (including public holidays)
  3. Option to buy up to 5 additional holiday days per year 
  4. Paid time off for community volunteering
  5. Opportunities to be involved in sports, social and fundraising activities
  6. Annual company bonus
  7. Eligibility to join the defined benefit, contributory pension scheme
  8. Access to “SW Splash”, saving you money on holidays, bills and shopping
  9. Life assurance scheme
  10. Limitless career opportunities upon successful completion of your Apprenticeship


At Scottish Water we appreciate that our Apprentices make real contributions to the business. This is why you will earn a competitive salary while you are working towards a qualification.Together with your expertise, your starting salary can increase upon the successful completion of your progress reviews at the agreed intervals.
Find out more information at our vacancy page.

Entry Requirements

  1. Aged over 16 (no upper limit)
  2. Highly motivated, flexible and adaptable
  3. Excellent interpersonal skills and customer focus
  4. Minimum of 5 Standard Grades (National Level 4/5) or equivalent (3 of which should be English, Maths and any Science)
  5. 2 Highers (or equivalent) or relevant technical qualification or a minimum of 1 year of technical experience
  6. Willingness to learn and develop your skills
  7. Desire to help Scottish Water to achieve our Vision
  8. Working understanding of Microsoft Office applications
  9. Ideally have a full current driver’s licence (for some roles only; check specific job advert)
  10. Ideally keen on relocating if required